life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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Christmas 2011 in Words & Images.

If I had to come up with one word to describe Christmas 2011, our first Christmas as a married couple, it would be blur. It wouldn’t be romantic, refreshing, exciting, intimate, touching, profound, relaxing, or even fun — it would be blur.

Halfway through our Christmas Day Relay, we realized what was happening: in the midst of trying to see everybody and get the gifts where they’re supposed to go and sticking to our scheduled timeslots, we completely lost Christmas and any quality time with anybody at all.

That’s not to say that we didn’t enjoy Christmas or the time we did have with our families, but… we did it wrong. Now we know it, and next year we’re going to try to do it differently.

Plus, as I also learned from Thanksgiving 2011, too many holiday meals=a very sick Lisa. I can’t handle all the food multiple times a day.

So, now that my summary/disclaimer is out of the way, here are a few pictures we took to commemorate Christmas 2011, with a special bonus section at the end:

Our Christmas morning mimosas. This was something we did very, very right.

Our Christmas Morning Cinnamon Buns baking in the oven. This is a tradition Dayne carried over from his family... and also something we did very, very right.

The ornament I made (out of oven-bake clay) and gave to Dayne. (Thanks, Dana, for the inspiration!)

The star on the left of our 1st Christmas ornament is the ornament Dayne gave to me.

Some of our wrapped gifts under our tree.

I really loved this ornament from Aunt Carol & Uncle Eric. Just what I was looking for!

Some of our Christmas gifts for each other: Dayne got me the candle and a subscription to Real Simple. I got him Couples TableTopics for fun conversations 🙂

We got very generous gifts from our family and friends this year. One thing that I’m ultra excited about in our kitchen is our new Griddler from Dayne’s parents:

It’s a panini press, indoor grill, and griddle all in one! You can even buy waffle inserts. We grilled burgers on it the other night, and I can’t wait to make tomato & cheese paninis and big breakfasts with it!

We are also loving this awesome gift from my parents:

SO much fun and it’s great to have a new game to play together on our Wii!

Now, as I promised, a special bonus section:

A few weeks ago, Deb and Ed (Dayne’s parents) came over and brought lunch to eat with us at our apartment. In the midst of preparing the food, we needed a stirring/serving spoon. All I could find were slotted spoons, and we needed a solid spoon. I swore up and down that we at one point had a solid nylon spoon.

Fast forward to December 28, 2011 — me hanging out on the couch browsing Pinterest after a long winters’ nap (since I got out of work early), and Dayne coming in the door around 4:30. He tells me the apartment smells funny. I had noticed a funny smell in the kitchen a little earlier, but thought nothing of it. As I got up and walked around, I noticed the smell was stronger all over the apartment – and it wasn’t the trash. I thought it might be an animal in our heating ducts. Turns out, it was this:

Completely melted through and burning in the bottom of our dishwasher. How did it get there? Nobody knows. I had started the dishwasher before my nap and it had just completed its post-cleaning heating cycle. So not only did we lose the only solid spoon we had, but our apartment smelled totally rank and we thought we broke our dishwasher.

Today, this is what our kitchen looked like, solid spoon and all:

The Countertop Catastrophe was only temporary so that the repair guy from our apartment complex could come in and fix an empty dishwasher, but it so symbolized how my life feels right now. The counter is just so cluttered with stuff, and our Christmas was so jumbled with everything, and we both worked most of last week and this week, and I would just like to get to a place where I can focus and enjoy all the aspects of this time in my life. I don’t want everything to fly by unnoticed and unappreciated; I want to embrace life and live it out.

I want to take more pictures, go more places, live more generously, give more recklessly, laugh harder, love better, take on more new adventures, and have fuller relationships. Which starts with the little things, like cleaning the kitchen counter of our apartment/my soul.

I hope 2012 is a good year for some of that stuff. I think reading the Bible in its entirety will definitely change my life, and hopefully embracing God and His Word will be the first step towards embracing everyone and everything around me.

For now, here’s to lessons learned and God loving us in the midst of & in spite of our messes.